Feedback on dev build 1.9.2.3

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Alan Baxter
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Feedback on dev build 1.9.2.3

Post by Alan Baxter » Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:21 pm

I think automatically adding an Adblock Plus filter subscription as part of the NoScript installation should be dropped, i.e. not included in the next release build.

I'm afraid this automatic modification of the user's settings in another extension will be a big turn-off for many NS/ABP users. I've already seen complaints about it in the NoScript forums. I've always been gratified to see NoScript recommended in various Internet articles and blogs. I'm afraid those will stop, and be replaced by articles and blogs explicitly withdrawing their recommendation due to this behavior. Even if the whitelist provides a short term increase in InformAction revenue, it looks too short-sighted to me. I think it will hurt InformAction in the long run.

I doubt this change will provide a worthwhile revenue increase anyhow. Even if a small number of Adblock Plus users don't mind ads appearing on the InformAction sites, I can't imagine enough Adblock Plus users actually clicking on the ads to justify such a potentially problematic change to NoScript.

I don't use the word "afraid" lightly, or as a figure of speech. I'm really worried about the potential consequences of this change.
Last edited by Alan Baxter on Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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therube
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Re: Feedback on dev build 1.9.2.3

Post by therube » Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:25 pm

I agree. (Thats what I was alluding to in the other thread.)
Though not that I care, particularly.
But too late in any case, as it is already in 1.9.2.4 release.
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Giorgio Maone
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Re: Feedback on dev build 1.9.2.3

Post by Giorgio Maone » Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:46 pm

Alan Baxter wrote:I think automatically adding an Adblock Plus filter subscription as part of the NoScript installation should be dropped, i.e. not included in the next release build.

Alan, thanks for your thoughtful advices, but I'm afraid they came too late, as I started 1.9.2.4 deployment almost 1 hour ago :(
I think we'll have to watch and see what happens.

Believe me, it's not a decision I took lightly. It's surely better than preventing hostile filtersets like EasyList from working by using chrome's brute force: with a regular, well behaved, clearly titled and commented filterset like this users can find immediately what's going on and disable the change permanently if they wish to.
As I said, I discussed this solution with Wladimir (who was very pissed off by the first approach) and he only objected that users should be informed. I'm doing it everywhere it's possible without nagging them, i.e.
  1. on the AMO install page
  2. on the noscript.net install page
  3. in the release notes broadcast by the update service
  4. on the release notes page, where both first install users and upgraders land.
  5. in the FAQs

Alan Baxter wrote:Even if a small number of Adblock Plus users don't mind ads appearing on the InformAction sites, I can't imagine enough Adblock Plus users actually clicking on the ads

You would be surprised by the difference before/after EasyList's targeted attack: something about a 90% drop in impressions and 80% drop in clicks.
It's safe to say the difference was made of EasyList subscribers who didn't mind seeing and clicking that stuff.
I believe this speaks volumes about how much EasyList reflects the general feeling about what needs and what doesn't need to be blocked.

Alan Baxter wrote:I don't use the word "afraid" lightly, or as a figure of speech. I'm really worried about the potential consequences of this change.

Thanks for your concerns, I'm worried at least as much as you. But something needed to be done anyway, because as you found by yourself, this thing went far overboard, with too many essential site features broken, such as changelog direct landing and even the install links themselves.

Let's cross our fingers and hope ABP users understand.
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GµårÐïåñ
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Re: Feedback on dev build 1.9.2.3

Post by GµårÐïåñ » Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:23 pm

I agree and I mentioned this in another related thread and didn't see this till now. I think now that Ares2 has fixed the filters in the Easy list, we should drop the pushing of the filters for many reason, the most common of which being that we don't want to violate user confidence.
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Lundholm
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Re: Feedback on dev build 1.9.2.3

Post by Lundholm » Fri May 01, 2009 5:19 am

Alan Baxter wrote: I think it will hurt InformAction in the long run.



I agree. This solution will harm the reputation of NoScript. I suggest to make the whitelist available as an ABP subscription to be added by the user.

If Wladimir thinks this is a good solution, then he should promote it on his site. He may want to promote other "friendly" sites, as well.
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Re: Feedback on dev build 1.9.2.3

Post by Tom T. » Fri May 01, 2009 6:59 am

OK, the iconoclast here.
Giorgio's motto is, "Do one thing and do it well". Agreed. Concentrate on user control of web-based executable content.
But if something has to be added to NS to deal with the AB concerns, here's an off-the-wall idea:

AdBlockOriginal "development of and support for Adblock has been discontinued." No longer offered at AMO, but can be found at home page http://adblock.mozdev.org/. Works very well, thank you. (There's nothing that needs changing, supporting, or development, IMHO.)

The last thing Giorgio needs is another project. But if the GM or NS name were put on ABO, *as a part of NS*, just one more fine feature, then perhaps users would decide they wouldn't need ABP. AFAIK, other extensions can take up what slack might be missing - RequestPolicy, etc. I really don't know. Because for this user, NS and ABO (and BetterPrivacy for LSO) block everything I've ever wanted/needed to block, without relying on OR EVEN PERMITTING any third party to change my settings.

ABP/Filterset/Controversy/Revenue drop all solved.

Or I'm way off base. Both equally possible.

I read of people with hundreds of extensions. There *has* to be a conflict eventually. I have exactly four: those three mentioned, and Copy Plain Text, a whopping 9k convenience tool. And I'm as privacy-conscious, security-conscious, and generally paranoid as anyone I know.
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Re: Feedback on dev build 1.9.2.3

Post by Giorgio Maone » Fri May 01, 2009 9:16 am

My current orientation, which I'll experiment with next NoScript release, is making the filter adding process more explicit with a prompt on startup, so user can decide if allowing it or not beforehand, rather than reverting the change later (albeit with just two clicks).
It's definitely more cumbersome, but it removes any "ethical" objection.

@Lundholm:
putting this subscriptions among the other proposed on ABP startup would not work (even in the unlikely event Wladimir was OK with it), because
  1. It's already a full page list
  2. Most people just grab EasyList and go away
  3. It's proposed on ABP first run only (therefore the 6 millions people who already have ABP would never see that)
  4. It would be proposed also to people who don't have NoScript nor NoScript, quite pointless
What do you think of the approach above?

@Tom T.
AdBlock Plus is technically far superior to AdBlock classic, and I've no interest in displacing it (actually I often suggest to install it, as you could see here and here in the forum).
I'm OK also with filter subscriptions, as long as they reflect the general principle (enunciated by Wladimir too, especially when he talks with the press, even if I'm not sure it's what he really believes) of not blocking every single possible ad for the sake of it no matter the collateral damage, but that they should be meant to block those generally considered obnoxious, impairing the navigation experience and affecting millions adversely.
Judging by the difference in clicks before and after the EasyList holy war started, I'd say most ABP users were fine with my ads.
I can understand some of them may find objectionable the current opt-out approach of the whitelist filterset, and that's why I'm gonna add a prompt asking them if they're OK with it beforehand (even though it's a further hassle both for me and for them).
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Re: Feedback on dev build 1.9.2.3

Post by Lundholm » Fri May 01, 2009 12:59 pm

Giorgio Maone wrote:My current orientation, which I'll experiment with next FlashGot release, is making the filter adding process more explicit with a prompt on startup, so user can decide if allowing it or not beforehand, rather than reverting the change later (albeit with just two clicks).
It's definitely more cumbersome, but it removes any "ethical" objection.

@Lundholm:
What do you think of the approach above?


This is acceptable, I suppose, if the right imploring wording is used (please! support the development....) ;)

So the ethics are ok, but it may win you a position in the adware hall-of-fame. Why don't you throw in a tool bar too? :mrgreen:
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Re: Feedback on dev build 1.9.2.3

Post by Giorgio Maone » Fri May 01, 2009 1:11 pm

Lundholm wrote:So the ethics are ok, but it may win you a position in the adware hall-of-fame. Why don't you throw in a tool bar too? :mrgreen:

I hope you're kidding, aren't you?
The main difference is that I'm not forcing you in any way to watch my ads.
Even now you can opt out from the whitelist whenever you want, and NoScript will keep working just like before.
You could call it an adware if it played a jingle whenever you changed permissions on a site, or threw a commercial in your face with every XSS warning (I'm scarily creative, ain't I?) ;)
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Re: Feedback on dev build 1.9.2.3

Post by Lundholm » Fri May 01, 2009 2:36 pm

Giorgio Maone wrote:I hope you're kidding, aren't you?
The main difference is that I'm not forcing you in any way to watch my ads.
Even now you can opt out from the whitelist whenever you want, and NoScript will keep working just like before.
You could call it an adware if it played a jingle whenever you changed permissions on a site, or threw a commercial in your face with every XSS warning (I'm scarily creative, ain't I?) ;)


Yes, just a joke. :)
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therube
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Re: Feedback on dev build 1.9.2.3

Post by therube » Fri May 01, 2009 2:40 pm

Of course there should be a Preference item, noscript.presentABPdialog, boolean.
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Re: Feedback on dev build 1.9.2.3

Post by Tom T. » Sat May 02, 2009 4:41 am

Or we could do what everyone else does, give users a 30-day trial and then charge them USD 30-50 (EUR 22-37) for an ad-free, nag-free version.
Personally, I like it the way it is, as complete freeware, for the safety of the entire Internet. IMHO, Giorgio is too bashful about politely suggesting donations, and I'm sure I embarrass him with my suggestions in that regard, but perhaps if people didn't take all this time and effort for granted, and donated, say, even USD $3.00 (pocket change), or EUR 2.25, or £ 2.00, x 47 million users, = USD $94 million or EUR 70 million. In which case, he could probably omit the ads.
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Re: Feedback on dev build 1.9.2.3

Post by MerlinMM » Wed May 06, 2009 3:44 am

Good point Tom T. Thanks so much for NoScript Giorgio. I'm going to donate a few bucks right now to clear my conscience on using this indispensable addition to Firefox.
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Re: Feedback on dev build 1.9.2.3

Post by Tom T. » Wed May 06, 2009 7:43 am

MerlinMM wrote:Good point Tom T. Thanks so much for NoScript Giorgio. I'm going to donate a few bucks right now to clear my conscience on using this indispensable addition to Firefox.

Thank you, MerlinMM. Even one or two dollars, euros, or pounds from each user would let Giorgio get back to what he does best: writing incomparable code and security tools, rather than being distracted by irrelevancies or worrying about how to feed his family. Thanks again.
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